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Reply to "Complete Lesson Set: David and Goliath, from FUMC Ann Arbor, MI"

David and Goliath

Games Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will start off by playing a quick put-the-story-facts-in-order game. Then, review the story by playing a game involving throwing a sock sling at a giant painted Goliath and answering questions about the Bible story.

Scripture Reference & Key Bible Verse & Objectives:

Refer to the first post in this lesson set.

Leader Preparations:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the following materials:
    • Print two sets (more if you have a large class) of story timeline cards - see attached PDF.
    • Bibles (for 3rd graders and up); One leader's Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
    • For 1st & 2nd graders: The Beginner’s Bible
    • David & Goliath storybookFor 3rd grade and up, the book: David and Goliath by Katherine Sully. Pictured at right.
    • Giant “Goliath” banner (painted onto a ceiling height piece of fabric) 
    • Masking tape
    • At least one “sock rocket” – made by stuffing 2 or 3 balled-up socks into the end of another calf-high sock (An alternate way of constructing sock rockets is noted below.)
    • Print a copy of the game questions - see attachment at end of lesson, under the word "Files." To download, click on "David and Goliath Game Questions.doc")
    • A picture of David's slingshot (We used one from The Animated Stories from the Bible Activity Book:  David and Goliath and The Young David  or search on-line.)
  • On the day of class:
    • Hang the Goliath securely from the ceiling at one end of the room. 
    • Choose a spot on the floor for the kids to stand where it will be somewhat challenging to hit Goliath with the sock rocket. Place a line of masking tape on the floor at the spot you have chosen. (For our preschoolers we used a hula hoop placed an appropriate distance from Goliath. Students were to stand inside the hula hoop.)
    • Practice throwing the sock rocket at the Goliath banner yourself, so you can demonstrate how to do it and so that you can assure yourself that the banner is securely hung up.  Hold the sock at the end opposite “the ball.” Raise your hand above and behind your head. Move your arm forward toward the target (almost like throwing a dart!) and let it soar! (Note: this is not the way that David would have done it but prevents sock rockets from flying all over the classroom!) The picture above is of our preschoolers getting a chance to hit Goliath. They played a pared-down version of this game.

Note: An alternate way of creating sock rockets: (originally written by Will Heywood Smyrna Presbyterian Church) This manner is useful to know if you want to create multiple sock rockets—perhaps for other games?

  1. Procure “waste hose” from Sara Lee Hosiery. They will ship you a box of white waste hose (The toes are not sown in them). There are about 240 hose in a box. They charge ten dollars to cover shipping and handling. Make your check payable to Sara Lee Hosiery and mail it to:
    Sara Lee Hosiery
    Waste Work Program
    P.O. Box 719, Highway 576
    Marian, S.C. 29571

    Note: Allow 4 weeks to receive the order. Information valid as of July 2004. (If you find that this info is still current, please post a reply below.)
  2. Take one hose and tie a knot on the toe end.
  3. Take a handful of other hose and stuff them in the open end (the thigh end) down to the toe.
  4. Push the hose in tight and form a ball at the toe end.
  5. Tie a knot in the hose just on the other side of the hose that has been pushed down into the toe.
  6. Now comes the fun part. Stick your hand down the thigh end of the hose all the way down to the hose knotted at the toe end.
  7. Grab hold of the ball of hose at the toe end with this same hand.
  8. With your free hand, pull the thigh end of the hose off your arm and over the hose tied in a ball at the toe end.
  9. Knot the hose (again) close to the toe end. You have just added another layer or “skin” to the ball of the sock rocket.
  10. Repeat #5 – 8 as many as five to ten times. Remember to tie a tight knot in the hose as close to the balled-up hose as you can.

Lesson Plan: Opening

Do:  Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the games workshop. Introduce yourself and have the other adults in the room introduce themselves.

Say:  Today, we are going to be talking about the Bible story about David and Goliath, but first, let's play a quick game to see how much you know about the story.

Do:  Divide the class into two teams. (Or into however many sets of story timeline cards you have.)

Say:  I’m going to give each team a set of picture cards that tell the story of David and Goliath. It’s going to be your job to put these cards into the correct timeline, in other words, put them in the order that they actually occurred. However, you will only have two minutes to do it. Are you ready? Go!

Do:  Let the teams know when two minutes is up.

Ask:  How many of you think you got this 100% correct?
Say:  Let’s check your answers!

1) Goliath threatened the army of Israel
2) Jesse sent David to see about his brothers
3) David heard about Goliath.
4) David wanted to fight Goliath!
5) King Saul’s armor was too big for David.
6) He chose five smooth stones from the brook.
7) David takes aim with just his slingshot!
8) David defeated the giant Goliath!

Say:  That's okay if you didn't know the story—yet! We’ll be playing a game that will reveal lots of details of the story. We will also be discussing how this story of a young boy, doing battle with a large, giant of a man, has meaning for our lives today. In our game, you’ll get to take a shot at our Goliath and increase how much you are learning about the story. First, let’s do a little review.

For 1st and 2nd graders:

Ask:  Where in the Bible would we find a story that Jesus learned when he was your age? Say:  We find this story in the Old Testament section of our Bible. I want to remind you to pay close attention as I read you this story because it will help you to play the game.

Do:  Read pages 173-180 in The Beginner’s Bible, showing the pictures as you read. --> In later weeks of the Rotation, use the pictures to prompt the students to tell you the story. 
Important: Add these words to page 177: “God helped me fight off lions and bears that attacked my sheep. God will be with me to fight Goliath.”

For 3rd grade and up:

Do:  Make sure everyone has access to a Bible. Hold the leader's Bible with tabs to review the organization of the Bible. (Note these tabs divide the collections in the Bible: Law, History, etc.)

Ask:  Why is the Bible divided into two testaments? (New Testament was written after Jesus was on earth; the Old Testament is the Bible that Jesus learned when he was a child)

Say:  Besides being divided into two testaments, the Bible is further divided into collections. The first collection in the Bible includes the first five books; it is called the books of the “Law.” The Ten Commandments that God gave Moses are in the Law section of our Bible. [Show them the Law section in the Bible with tabs.]

Ask:  Does anyone know the names of the five books of Law? (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy)
Who knows what the second collection is in the Old Testament?

Say: The second collection in the OT is called “History.” The history books tell of the interaction of God with people in history. These stories happened thousands of years ago. Our story is in the History collection.

Ask:  Can anyone name any other books in the History collection? (HInt: Have them look in the Bible table of contents. Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1st & 2nd Samuel, 1st & 2nd Kings, 1st & 2nd Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther)

Do:  Have the students find I Samuel, then find chapter 17, verse 1 and tell them this is where the story of David and Goliath is told in the Bible.
Read aloud the picture book to the class, David and Goliath by Katherine Sully, making sure that everyone sees the pictures as you read. --> In later weeks of the Rotation, use the pictures to prompt the students to tell you the story. 

Play the Game:

Do:  To give context, show the students a copy of what David's slingshot looked like. (Not your typical forked stick with a rubber band!)
Say: This is what our “slingshot” looks like.
Ask:  Goliath was a giant! Can anyone tell me how tall Goliath was?
Say:  The Bible tells us that Goliath was more than 9 feet tall!

Do:  Use the tape measure or yardstick to demonstrate that our picture of Goliath is a little less than 8 feet tall.

Do:  Divide the class into two teams. You can choose teams by numbering off or by birthdates. Decide who starts first -- whoever has a birthday closest to today’s date, that team starts. Explain the way the game will work:

  1. You will ask a question.
  2. Each member of a team will take a turn being the team spokesperson. A team may consult on a question but the spokesperson should give the final answer. (Use of Bibles is ok but you may need to enforce a time limit to answer a question.)  
  3. If the question is answered correctly, the spokesperson may take a turn being “David” and throw a sock rocket at Goliath’s head. It doesn’t matter whether Goliath is hit or not.
  4. If a question is answered incorrectly, give the other team a chance to answer the same question. (It encourages everyone to listen to the questions!)
  5. The person who threw the sock rocket will retrieve it and return it to the workshop leader.

Note: Don’t bother to keep score, just keep the game moving.

Do:  Before starting, demonstrate how to throw the sock rocket (as you practiced before class started)

Important: During gameplay, use what you’ve learned in the lesson overview material to engage the students in further discussion. Grades 1 & 2: When you ask a question, offer a choice of answers. Eliminate the harder questions. Grades 3 and up: When you ask a question, don’t offer multiple choices unless the team needs them.


Say:  David believed that no matter what happened to him, God would be with him always and would protect him. God loves you. No matter what happens to you, God is with you. Let's close our time together with prayer.

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Protector God, Thank you for this day and for everyone who is here today. We are thankful to learn about Bible heroes like David who looked to you for courage when facing difficult obstacles. Help us to be more like David and remember that you are with us when we face our difficulties. Amen.”

Resources for the Games Lesson:

  • Story timeline cards created from by Richard Gunther.
  • G.R.E.A.T. Adventure Dream Team at State Street United Methodist Church, Bristol, VA. “David and Goliath - Giant-Sized Faith!” 2001. Print. (For true/false game questions.).
  • Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church, Cary, NC. “David & Goliath: Antioch Arcade.” 2003. Web. (For game idea & questions)
  • Smyrna Presbyterian Church. Waynesboro, VA. “David and Goliath: Temple Center.” (For idea/construction of sock rockets.)
  • Sully, Katherine.David and Goliath (My First Bible Stories). QEB Publishing, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1609922610,
  • The Beginner's Bible. Zonderkidz. ISBN-13: 978-0310709626.

The image of the game in action is copyright 2015 by Carol Hulbert.

A lesson originally written by Carol Hulbert in 2004, and updated in 2008.
Updated in 2015 by Beth Pascoe and Chris Nelson and Carol Hulbert
Updated in 2020 by Carol Hulbert

First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Printed from


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